How you can turn your passion for helping others into a career

Jennifer E. Engen

How you can turn your passion for helping others into a career

When we ask people what they look for in a career, aside from financial satisfaction and a chance for career advancement, one of the most important factors they look for is career satisfaction. People want to work at jobs that they are happy to go to and can tolerate even on the days when there are challenges.

An important part of career satisfaction is having passion for not only the role that you play, but for the company where you work on a daily basis. There are several situations where you can work towards joining a company that aligns with your passion and fits into this space. However, what happens when you cannot find a company in line with your passion, or find one that you don’t properly fit into? You have the option of creating your own and turning your passion into a career path.

Have you ever considered turning your passion, particularly of helping others, into a viable career path? What is required to combine your care for others with proper professional skills to make it into a career that will thrive?

You can make a career out of your passion to help others, so you can win on both ends by working at a job that you love and earning from it at the same time. Read on to find out more about the things you need to put in place to create this.

The idea of turning your passion into a career path

The concept of philanthropy or helping others typically projects an idea of giving back to the community and those that need our help, and not the idea of making a living out of it. Yet the realities of philanthropy and helping others goes far deeper than that. Helping others means any act that is carried out to contribute towards the advancement of the community or various settings. It is quite possible that this includes a viable career path also.

Anyone with a desire to solve social problems and help others can also make a career out of it. Of course, federal tax laws will affect anything that you make profits from, but that is not enough reason to deter you from pursuing it as a career. There are several benefits that you can gain from helping others – for both the helper and the helped. Some of those positive effects include:

If you enjoy helping others, you can make a great career out of it. You will understand at different points in time that what you are doing is for the greater good. If you are wondering how to navigate the terrain, here are a few points to consider:

Six tips to follow in turning your passion into career

It is often said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, but turning your passion into a career can be tricky. Here are six tips to follow in making the jump from hobby to profession.

  • Don’t make financial returns the main goal

This is an important point to always remember. Everything is not about money, particularly when it comes to helping others. Whenever you find yourself working within this sector, whether as a pioneer or not, remember that your actions are supposed to make you a steward, and that everything is not always about making money for yourself. In fact, the money that you work with to promote the cause should not be regarded as your own. Instead, you have a clear-cut responsibility to ensure that it reaches the right people for the right reasons. Also, if you decide to be a donor to an organization that works in line with the cause you are passionate about, regarding the proceeds of that as charity.

Once you make this your focus, and you infuse it into your day-to-day activities, it becomes easier for you to concentrate on your work of serving others. It serves as a reminder for you every step of the way through your career.

  • Your focus should be on results

Success for you should be defined by the results of your work and the lives that are touched by your acts. Today, there is a lot of focus on the amount of money that charity organizations are able to rake in, rather than the lives they are able to touch. Your judgment should not be on monetary value, but on the results.

Do not make it about competing with those that are doing similar things. Instead, focus on the impact, value, relevance and efficiency, even in comparison to the monetary implications. Again, do not allow money to be the measure of success, as it can shift the focus away from the actual work.

  • Gain the proper education

You don’t want to rely on your passion to help alone to thrive. You also want to make sure that you know the right way to navigate the intricacies of this unique career path. A proper education may mean that you advance your knowledge in business and its practicality, or you earn a Bachelor of Social Work that can help you develop yourself for professional practice.

Earning an online degree in social work will prepare you to convert your passion for helping others into a career path and to work in different settings, such as criminal justice agencies, child welfare, developmental disabilities services, churches, hospitals, schools, nursing homes or substance abuse programs.

  • Derive motivation from the needs of humanity

Turning your passion for helping others into a career is much more than donating money to a cause. As highlighted in the previous point, you can work in a wide range of institutions while fostering your love for humanity.

The idea of philanthropy is hinged on your compassion for others. Your motivation is derived from the needs of others that you see. You are driven by the idea of solving the social problems that you observe. What keeps your hope alive as you move through this career path is the determination to move forward and put people in a much better position than when you met them.

If you are not serving people, improving the state of communities, and the lives of those around you, you’re barely one working for social good. According to the National Philanthropist Trust (NPT), financial support for social work and activities rose to $484.85bn in the United States in 2021.

  • Be prepared to work with others

Rest assured that you will do much more than working alone. When it comes to helping others, be prepared to work with people who have similar goals to yours. However, just because you have similar goals does not mean that it will be an easy ride. Everyone is bound to have an opinion about the right thing to do, so you need to be patient when working with others.

Also, to make a difference in your chosen field, ensure that you pay attention to those you work with and the complaints they have. Working to help others should also include helping those that you work with. Be open to sharing adequate resources with them to improve the overall level of productivity.

  • Prepare for risks and stand up for others who cannot

Lastly, but one of the most important take-home points is that you must be willing to take risks and look out for others. If you really want to make a change within the path that you have chosen, you need to be bold enough to take risks. Start with the little things. Stand up for people, and take a stand for the things you believe in.

Things to always remember

Your work becomes that of serving people, even more than mere helping. Your generosity and care for others should focus on providing service to the group of people that you have chosen to attend to.

Ensure that you have a solid grasp of the problem. The foundation of a career that seeks to help others is understanding the problem before trying to find a solution to it. Understand the problem that exists first, such as the reason you are needed, before you proceed to looking for solutions that may change the trajectory of the lives of others.

Building a career that is centered on your passion for helping others is not the easiest task, but it is also not impossible. Social workers provide a great example of how you can turn your passion for helping others into a viable career path that will remain relevant, even in the coming years. Ensure that you truly have the motivation to drive yourself to make a difference in the lives of others.

To have a successful career, make sure you see your passion not only as a way to serve but also as an opportunity to give back to the community in your own way.  Look into the areas where you are needed and build on that.